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No More Uber, Lyft or Taxis at LAX?!

No More Uber, Lyft or Taxis at LAX?!
Joe Cortez

Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) flyers should plan for a major shift if they plan on using Uber, Lyft, or Taxis upon landing. The major international gateway will soon force all inbound travelers to board a shuttle to a rideshare-specific parking lot, where they will be able to request their ride. The goal is to reduce vehicle traffic on the airport’s loop.

If you’re flying into Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) after late October 2019, ground transportation options will be limited to livery vehicles and shuttles to hotels or to get an Uber, Lyft or Taxi. Los Angeles World Airports is changing how the ridesharing companies will do business at their largest operation.

Beginning around Tuesday, October 29, 2019, Uber, Lyft, and Taxi drivers can no longer accommodate curbside pickups at the arrivals level. Instead, travelers who want to use the rideshare services must use an airport-operated shuttle to a parking lot near Terminal 1 to hail their car. Rideshare and taxi drivers can still drop off departing flyers curbside at their terminal.

The move comes as Los Angeles International Airport experiences a surge of inbound traffic. Between 2012 and 2018, annual passenger traffic at the hub increased by over 20 million flyers. The airport credits an improved economy and more air accessibility for the changes.

Complicating the ground transportation flow are flyers’ increased use of ridesharing applications $14 billion roadway reconstruction project. As of October 2019, Los Angeles World Airports reported lane closures through 2020 near Terminals 1, 2 and the Tom Bradley International Terminal, with demolition beginning near Terminals 4 and 5. According to the airport administration, rideshare cars makeup over one-fourth of all vehicular traffic at the airport, creating major problems for other motorists – requiring the shift in rideshare operations.

“We are continuously assessing our operations as we modernize our airport and confront significant construction impacts,” a spokesperson from Los Angeles World Airports told Skift about the changes. “In the coming weeks and months, we will be sharing some of the new ways that we are working to improve the guest experience and improve traffic conditions at and around LAX, with a focus on an easy, efficient, and amenities-rich experience.”

Although Uber continues to keep accepting rides from Los Angeles flyers, the company has multiple concerns about the shuttled lot transition. In a letter shared with FlyerTalk, Uber asked Los Angeles World Airports for several concessions after their site tour on September 22. The requests included test runs, additional parking spots for drivers at the lot and assistance in traffic flow management by airport staff. According to Uber’s data, the rideshare service gets an average of 500 ride requests per hour at LAX, which can surge to over 1,000 per hour during peak hours.

“While we have concerns with aspects of LAX’s plan to move all rideshare pickups to a staging lot, we have shared those concerns directly with [Los Angeles World Airports] and will continue operating at the airport,” a spokesperson from Uber told FlyerTalk. “In the meantime, we hope LAX will listen to and incorporate our input so that so that LAX passengers can continue to access rideshare service in a seamless way.”

FlyerTalk also reached out to Lyft for comment but did not receive a response as of press time.

Update, Lyft shared this statement with FlyerTalk:

“We have been working closely with the LAX airport leadership and we look forward to continued collaboration with the Airport leadership on how to best reduce terminal congestion, lessen wait times for drivers and riders, and provide the best possible pick up and drop off experience for all Lyft users.

View Comments (2)

2 Comments

  1. edgewood49

    October 4, 2019 at 2:49 pm

    LAX reminds me of BOS, it’s always under construction none of which makes much sense to anyone from the outside looking in. We avoid LAX internationally like the plague as connecting is just not worth it, and heaven forbid if your running behind getting to the airport for any flights. Good thing it doesn’t snow there!!

  2. dvs7310

    October 6, 2019 at 12:05 am

    This is certainly a positive move. LAX has been terrible on the arrivals level for years. Takes way to long to get out on the regular transport methods (rental car shuttle, taxi, private car, etc). Any way to cut the traffic is a plus.

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